Women and natural disasters in Viet Nam
Viet Nam is among one of the countries in the world that are seriously affected by the adverse effects of climate change, especially in coastal and low-land regions. In countries, where gender discrimination is tolerated, women and girls are particularly vulnerable. Women are often overburdened with productive and reproductive responsibilities thus they have less time to acquire new skills and awareness to cope with natural disasters. Women also have fewer opportunities to mobilize resources for disaster preparedness and rehabilitation. Livelihoods of many women are dependent on environmental and climatic conditions. Female headed households tend to be among those with least resilience. In addition, domestic and sexual violence tends to increase following a natural disaster.
UN Women Viet Nam has provided funding and technical assistance to the Viet Nam Women’s Union to implement the project 'Strengthening women's capacity in disaster risk reduction to cope with climate change'. The project firstly started in two provinces, Phu Yen and Binh Dinh for 2 years (2010-2011) and then scaled up project activities in other 5 provinces including Binh Dinh, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Binh, Ca Mau and Dong Thap for 5 years (2012-2016).
The aim of the project is to increase the role of local women in disaster risk reduction and management activities through the improvement of their knowledge and skills, and thus enhance the culture of prevention, preparedness and mitigation to natural disasters in communities, reducing the negative consequences of climate change and natural disasters. Another objective is to strengthen participation of women in decision making related to climate change and natural disasters, in particular through the local Committees for Flood and Storm Control.